Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 23, 2017

The one degree of separation between Valerie Plame and white supremacy

Filed under: anti-Semitism,Fascism — louisproyect @ 10:55 pm


Ron Unz: the white supremacist Jew who publishes Patrick Cockburn

Two days ago Valerie Plame, who was outed as a CIA agent in 2003 as retaliation for her husband Joseph Wilson’s NY Times op-ed piece denying that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons, tweeted an article by another ex-CIA agent named Philip Giraldi titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” that created a major shit-storm.

Looking back at the obvious Jewish background of many high-placed officials in the George W. Bush administration, Giraldi hopes to forestall a war with Iran that supposedly is being fomented by the Israel lobby. While undoubtedly people like David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens would love nothing better than a war with Iran, it is hard to figure out whether their removal from public life would make much difference since Donald Trump, his ex officio adviser Steve Bannon and the various Christian military brass that stud his administration would not need any goading. Stating that it is necessary for Jews to pressure the Trump administration to make war on Iran is tantamount to breaking down an open door.

Giraldi’s was not smart enough to use the words Zionist or Israel lobby, which are acceptable to his inside-the-beltway peers. This was just a bit too David Dukish: “Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again.” Mind you, most people probably wouldn’t have guessed from this outburst that he was a darling of the left for many years as a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) with Ray McGovern. Not even their special pleading for Bashar al-Assad over his sarin gas attacks would have lost him fans.

And if there is a Jewish-controlled media, it doesn’t seem to be on board with a war on Iran. Does Giraldi have the NY Times and CBS in mind? Owned by the Sulzberger and Redstone families respectively, they would be by his standards champing at the bit to invade Iran. However, unless I am missing something, they are worried that Trump will terminate the deal that Obama worked out with the Islamic Republic. In fact, the three most powerful media outlets pushing Trump’s agenda are the WSJ, the NY Post and Fox News. Guess who owns them. Here’s a clue. He is not circumcised and enjoys nothing more than a roast pork sandwich washed down with a glass of milk.

Glancing over the Giraldi article, I began wonder what the Unz Review was. Described on the home page as “An Alternative Media Selection” A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media”, I had to admit that Giraldi’s article qualified as “largely excluded” from the mainstream media—thank god for small favors.

A cursory review indicated that Unz Review is largely an aggregation of articles that are published elsewhere with an occasional exception such as Giraldi’s and others in the inner circle of editor Ron Unz. In addition to Philip Giraldi, who is his National Security Editor, there are two men described as “bloggers”: Anatoly Karlin and Steve Sailer. Karlin is a Russian who studied at U. Cal Berkeley and once wrote for “Sputnik & Pogrom”, an ultra-nationalist website that was even too much for Putin based on the evidence of it being shut down on July 6th. In 2015 the website called for “crushing Ukraine” and establishing a “Russian ethnic state.”

In addition to his contributions to Unz Review, Sailer also writes for Taki’s Magazine, a publication started by Taki Theodoracopulos who once wrote: “Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Africans and non-Africans then split about 100,000 years ago. The further north they went, the harder it became to find food, raise children and find shelter. Larger brains were needed for a longer life and more family stability.”. When he isn’t busy pumping out filth for Taki, Sailer is writing stuff for VDARE, an anti-immigration outfit that can best be described as white nationalist.

Beginning to connect the dots now? Philip Giraldi: the Jews own the media. Anatoly Karlin: too nationalistic for Putin. Steve Sailer: a good old boy from Taki’s and VDARE.

So who is the mastermind behind this “alternative media” outlet? When I first saw “Unz”, I thought it might have something to do with New Zealand, not exactly an alt-right lightning rod. As it turns out, Ron Unz is a Jew himself and wealthy from banking software he wrote when he was a student at Harvard. His first foray into politics was sponsoring Proposition 227 on a California ballot in 1998, a successful attempt to get rid of bilingual education that was repealed two years ago. So you could see how he would hook up with someone writing for VDARE.

To get right to the point, Unz is an out-and-out racist. About a year ago, he wrote an article titled “American Pravda: The KKK and Mass Racial Killings” that wondered why there was so much attention paid to lynchings when Communism was responsible for the death of millions. He also took exception to a string of racist cop killings by pointing out that the victims were “bad guys”. He describes Trayvon Martin as a “violent young thug” and Michael Brown as “a gigantic, thuggish criminal”. Not even Emmett Till gets off the hook. He weighed 150 pounds, was “quite large and muscular for his age” and had a violent history. It certainly can be possible that the 14-year old weighed 150 pounds and was muscular. However, there is no evidence of a “violent history”. Could it be possible that Unz is just a lying piece of shit? You be the judge.

If this smacks of the KKK, you might be on to something. You can find another Jew (or ex-Jew since he converted to Russian Orthodoxy) writing for Unz’s magazine who is on the same wave-length. That is Israel Shamir, the notorious anti-Semite who advised Unz Review readers that “It’s Time to Re-Think David Duke” in 2005. Like the KKK that he once ran in Louisiana, Duke is supposedly getting a bad rap. Shamir’s article is mostly a transcript of a David Duke interview in 2005 when he blamed the Jews for the war in Iraq, just like Giraldi does. “The neo-cons, the people who founded this [war] were actually Trotskyite communists originally. Russia has worked to free itself from the Jewish supremacist Bolshevists.”

Oh, by the way, did I mention that Shamir has been a free-lancer for Wikileaks? One imagines that he and Assange must have gotten along famously since he has had his own soiled underwear on Twitter, just like Plame. Just over a year ago, the gray-haired cult figure Tweeted that he didn’t care much for his critics. Most of them have 3 brackets around their name (a way of indicating that you are a Jew on Twitter), are “tribalists”, and wear black-rimmed glasses.

It should be abundantly clear at this point that Unz Review is poised somewhere ideologically midway between Breitbart News and The Daily Stormer. That being said, you have to wonder why Ron Unz also aggregates the following writers: Patrick Cockburn, Tom Engelhardt, Norman Finkelstein, Michael Hudson, Peter Lee and Mike Whitney. All of them, except for Engelhardt, are well-known contributors to CounterPunch. I strongly suspect that Unz is reposting their articles without their permission even though he includes this disclaimer at the end of each one: “Republished from Counterpunch.org by permission of author or representative”. I find it hard to believe that Patrick Cockburn has ever been contacted by Unz. If he has been and still gives his approval, then someone should tug his sleeve and tell him to wake up.

I don’t think it is difficult to understand why a racist pig like Ron Unz is publishing leftists. It is part of a Red-Brown tendency that has been developing for the past 5 years. Mostly my focus has been on leftists making overtures to the right in one way or another such as Boris Kagarlitsky singing the praises of Donald Trump or Diana Johnstone defending Marine Le Pen’s “sovereignism”.

But Ron Unz is an interesting if vomit-inducing example of a white supremacist trying to reconcile his own views with people who would likely punch him in the mouth for referring to Emmett Till as he did or at least tell him he had no permission to crosspost their CounterPunch articles. So what is going on here?

The answer is that in that gray area between the Red and the Brown, you find a receding interest in class. The unit of analysis is the nation-state rather than social class. So for both a Mike Whitney and a Ron Unz there is a laundry list of bad things: NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the IMF, Hillary Clinton, the Eurozone, the Council on Foreign Relations, George Soros and the CIA. On the other hand, there is the Kremlin, Iran, the Baathists, the Donetsk People’s Republic, BRICS and Brexit. If the bad things somehow disappeared overnight, the good things would win. Hoorah. Questions of class struggle, political economy and the need for socialism disappear into the background. But in that gray area, there is always the troubling “Jewish problem” with people like Unz effacing the distinction between Zionist and Jew. Of course, that is the mirror image of the Zionist state that is also intent on making them indistinguishable.

Frankly, I don’t feel threatened by Giraldi’s nonsense. As I have stated repeatedly, there is no existential threat to the Jews posed by the “unite the right” marchers chanting “The Jews will not replace us”. The real target today is Muslims and immigrants.

Given the increasing affinity for the state of Israel for the kinds of policies being put forward by the Trump administration, it may be the case that the American populist right will follow the lead of its advanced guard. Richard Spencer recently visited Israel and told an interviewer how an Israeli citizen should regard him:

… an Israeli citizen, someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should respect someone like me, who has analogous feelings about whites. You could say that I am a white Zionist – in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.

This wasn’t the first time Spencer warmed up to Israel. Last December, he told Haaretz that he “respects Israel” and that he would “respect” the decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

There might be a mutual admiration society in the works considering what Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son is up to on Facebook. He posted an image that could have been lifted from The Daily Stormer.

Where all this is going cannot be predicted. Although I hate to sound like a broken record, my advice is to build a world revolutionary movement committed to socialism—starting yesterday. Rosa Luxemburg said that the choice was between socialism and barbarism. Decades ago that sounded like inspiring rhetoric. Today it is much more like an RX for survival.


  1. Excellent, Louis. However you should have mentioned that Giraldi is (or was) Executive Director of CNI (Council for the National Interest), the other big outlet for Alison Weir’s views on Israel.

    Comment by uh...clem — September 24, 2017 @ 4:10 am

  2. Why leave Counterpunch off the list of Red-Brown wanabees.. never mind the prominent pseudo-lefts who have jumped aboard.

    Comment by Abraham Weizfeld — September 24, 2017 @ 6:58 pm

  3. Because CounterPunch, believe it or not, publishes far more pro-Syria articles than most websites on the left, starting with The Nation and Alternet. The reason there is more pro-Assad there is because there are more submissions. In case you hadn’t noticed, my POV is distinctly a minority one.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 24, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

  4. Zionism is a cancer.

    Comment by Tom Doctoroff — September 24, 2017 @ 10:00 pm

  5. Isn’t controlling interest in The New York Times now owned by Lebanese-Mexican drug and human trafficking don with the telecommunications cover Carlo Slim?

    Comment by who dares wings — September 24, 2017 @ 10:02 pm

  6. Yeah, I forgot about that. My guess is that he has no problems with the Sulzbergers setting the editorial line as long as they are making money for him.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 24, 2017 @ 10:31 pm

  7. An aside. Unz and Alexander Cockburn we’re friends.

    Comment by Ken — September 24, 2017 @ 10:31 pm

  8. Yeah, he got climate change wrong as well.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 24, 2017 @ 10:36 pm

  9. Do you regard James Petras as a lefty? We all relied heavily on his Latin American books in the eighties when campaigns were being built here in solidarity with people of Central America and the Caribbean ,alongside those already established support groups for Cuba as well as ongoing badeau ago during the sI am baffled by a cosuuple of astonishing as articles he published recently, including one like Johnstone’s piece which endorsed the politics of Le Pen and another for Unz which you demolished with characteristic aplomb.
    On the bright side, it is such a relief to know that nobody from our plucky little neighbour ( New Zealand ) is berthed on this ship of fools.

    Comment by Barbara Goddard — September 25, 2017 @ 1:16 am

  10. sorry about the middle of my message being so garbled….please ignore the messy bit. Also could someone explain the strange cartoon for me please….I am in Sydney and cannot work it out at all.

    Comment by Barbara Goddard — September 25, 2017 @ 6:41 am

  11. RE Counterpunch–the inimitablly polyglot and polymathic, but fortunately obscure Elise Hendricks published an incredibly pigheaded (and IMHO self-dramatizing) screed a few years back insisting that Counterpunch represents ( querfront, or red/brown “cross front” or Third Way fascist conspiracy.

    Since publishing this over-the-top nonsense–certain foreign words, like querfront seem to be what Matthew Arnold called “touchstones” to her–Hendricks has become, as one might expect, a fervently irrational defendant of antifascism–that is, someone for whom the word “fascist” ends all debate and calls for immediate action, no matter what that is, as long as it is dramatic.

    For such people, however weak contemporary fascism may be objectively, it represents the one thing with which the left should be completely occupied at all times. Hendricks seems to be writing a lot of bad poetry these days promoting the idea that nothing else matters.

    In fact, Counterpunch publishes, as Louis says, an amazing number of short pieces by all sorts of people, including paid publicists for the Russian Federation and Ron Paul libertarians as well as the rebarbative and LaRouche-like Craig Paul Roberts.

    All of this is the legacy of a position taken years ago by Alexander Cockburn, who began to welcome the antiwar positions taken by “libertarians” as well as by rogue Republicans like Pat Buchanan. The idea must have been something like the notion that any antiwar or antimperialist postion, if arguably sincere, must somehow be objectively “left.”

    IN fact, Counterpunch, as a forum open to multiple tendencies, publishes work by individuals that could be considered Third Position types as long as they oppose something the left also opposes–imperialism for example. While I find their editorial decisions (in the cases of e.g. Mike Whitney, Roberts, and Ron Paul) distasteful and wrong, C. is a true forum, not the organ of a fascist conspiracy.

    Ironically, the reflex to unite with anyone who opposes what the left opposes is finding its highest expression in the current “antifa” hysteria, which will ally itself with anyone who has a few hundred bucks to blow in on tubular bandanas, red/black flags, and the like, with or without class analysis, as long as that person declares a willingness to punch Nazis.

    This is precisely what leads to Third Way positions–the need to welcome everyone who opposes the Great Evil of the moment, and damn the torpedoes. The fact that the word “fascism” has to be depreciated does not preclude such a position; in fact, it makes it more likely–just as being “antiwar” and “anti-imperialist” once did and still do.

    Without a flexible and functional Marxist class analysis any “left” position can easily become ultraleft and mutate into its purported opposite. Ironically, nothing promotes red-brownism more at present than antifa–it does so because antifa by its nature does not and cannot think clearly about anything if that interferes with the perceived need to take immediate violent action. This facile moralism, IMHO, is a greater enemy to the left today than fascism itself.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 25, 2017 @ 3:56 pm

  12. No time to edit this properly–what a mess. Sigh.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 25, 2017 @ 3:58 pm

  13. Farans Kalosar: will you please provide a link to Elise Hendricks’ defence of anti-fascism?

    Comment by uh...clem — September 25, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

  14. Try this: https://meldungen-aus-dem-exil.noblogs.org/

    Just about anything on this blog currently seems to be antifa–of course, since it’s all poetry, you can’t really call it a “defense.” The emergency, it seems, is too acute for prose.

    Here is a sample of the prosody:

    He then took his gun by the barrel,
    And knocked me quick smart to the ground,
    When a group all clad in black apparel,
    Arrived, both of us to surround.
    ‘Leave her alone‘, said one of them,
    ‘or else you’ll be tasting my stick.’
    With that, the peach freezer began to sob
    And then buggered off right quick.


    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 25, 2017 @ 4:48 pm

  15. “IN fact, Counterpunch, as a forum open to multiple tendencies, publishes work by individuals that could be considered Third Position types as long as they oppose something the left also opposes–imperialism for example. While I find their editorial decisions (in the cases of e.g. Mike Whitney, Roberts, and Ron Paul) distasteful and wrong, C. is a true forum, not the organ of a fascist conspiracy.”

    I think that Cockburn and St. Clair were influenced by their contact with direct action environmentalism and anti-WTO protests in the 1990s and early 2000s, both of which were ideologically incoherent despite efforts to push them in a leftist direction. They believed, and St. Clair probably still does, that rightists like Whitney, Roberts, Paul, and before his death, Gore Vidal, could make meaningful contributions to people involved in anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist movements. In fact, they are reflective of historic right wing populism in US history, and the limitations associated with it. They are also increasingly irrelevant, as the right no longer has any use for them. Cockburn was working off the late 19th Century, early 20th Century model of the Anti-Imperialist League, which emphasized anti-imperialist support from all corners.

    I’ve always thought Cockburn highly prized his identification with the working class, hence his travels around America and his criticisms of climate change. Of course, he lost sight of the fact that the working class was something more than white construction workers in South Carolina eating BBQ, and, if he believed that the working class was hostile too climate change, that was an assumption based upon the liberal, elitist bent of the environmental movement. I don’t know whether it was true or not. He did, however, live through the experience of seeing the white part of the US working class provide significant support for Reagan and the Bushes. He understood it even as he must have been disheartened by it, and refused to berate it as liberals so often have done. He underestimated the intensity of racism within it.

    As a consequence, Counterpunch is now struggling to remain relevant as Trump has polarized US society. I hope that St. Clair is successful in confronting this challenge.

    Comment by Richard Estes — September 25, 2017 @ 6:33 pm

  16. I always regarded Gore Vidal as an Eleanor Roosevelt Democrat–hardly a revolutionary but not a “rightist” either compared with e.g. George Wallace or his frequent adversary Buckley (or William B. Fuckley as I always think of him). It’s true that Vidal described himself as a “conservative” and was deeply involved with his own family’s historical mystique, but he meant the former in some hifalutin intellectual sense and the latter is a common failing of Roosevelt Democrats. He did say that both U.S. political parties were the money party, which is true.

    I like the comment about Cockburn’s identification with the working class.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 25, 2017 @ 7:03 pm

  17. “Questions of class struggle, political economy and the need for socialism disappear into the background.”

    So Russia-baiting, connect-the-dot anti-Semitism and routing for Islamic fundamentalism are integral to class revolution?

    Don’t you work for a bank? Also, didn’t you route for the fall of Quaddaifi (how did that work out?).

    I’m going to guess that you have about 7 doozey “New Left” twits who amen you on here. Nobody cares about you idiots and your “Judean People’s Front vs. People’s Front of Judea” crap. Boomer nonsense.

    You should thank your lucky stars that St. Clare was indulgent enough to publish on Counterpunch. Cockburn was wise to keep your petit-bourgeous cxrap away.

    I’m sorry Cockburn had the temerity to be populist and like working people. What WAS he thinking?

    Comment by Rojo — September 27, 2017 @ 6:06 am

  18. Q: Don’t you work for a bank?

    A: No, I retired from Columbia University 4 years ago. As far as I know, this is not a bank.

    Q: Also, didn’t you route for the fall of Quaddaifi (how did that work out?).

    A: Rojo, you need to go back and finish high school. This blog places a big emphasis on erudition and you don’t make the grade. A “route” is something you take in a car. You meant “root”, a word also used for that part of a plant that draws nutrition from the soil. As far as Gaddafi (or Qaddafi) is concerned, there was a failed revolution in Libya. I supported the democratic opposition that was too weak to overcome Islamist groups. If you are one of those people that support people like Gaddafi and Assad, who worked with the CIA in its extraordinary rendition program, I can’t say I am surprised. You strike me as a two-bit, uneducated Stalinist jerk.

    Finally, on CounterPunch. I never had any intention of writing for the magazine until Jeff St. Clair (not Clare) invited me to review films. I enjoy a good working relationship with Jeff. I am sure that if he read your drooling imbecilic comment, he’d have a good belly laugh.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 27, 2017 @ 12:46 pm

  19. No, I don’t work for a bank. Who the fuck are you, you anonymous twerp?

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 28, 2017 @ 10:22 am

  20. Sorry–replied to the wrong reply.

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 28, 2017 @ 11:30 am

  21. “Too nationalistic for Putin.”

    Thanks for the accolate, it’s appreciated! My old favorite was “ein strammer Putinsoldat”, but it was getting old and outdated.

    I regret to say I have never written for Sputnik and Pogrom, though that is probably going to be remedied in the near future.

    Comment by akarlin — September 28, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

  22. I finished high school, not that it matters. I misspelled “root”.. YOU miscalled Libya from the get-go. I’m not the one who should be ashamed,

    As to Assad and Quaddafi (spell it however you want), what do you believe exactly? They were awful for working with the CIA so they needed to be overthrown by == the CIA, by people who were even worse? Quaddaif sucks, long live Al Queda!

    You dress up your liberal petit-bourgeois garbage with doozy tales of your time in the New Left. Nobody buys it. Especially the impoverished millennials who are trying to actually trying to change things.. You should probably just stand down

    Comment by Rojo — September 29, 2017 @ 6:30 am

  23. what do you believe exactly?

    I believe in socialism.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 29, 2017 @ 11:33 am

  24. It’s sad that Giraldi doesn’t realize that he undermines himself when he does this. He doesn’t realize the importance of being either politically correct or more precise. Maybe this is because he does not come from a left wing background where precision about ethnic issues is very important.

    Let’s say that most major Jewish organizations supported a more hawkish foreign policy in the Middle East. It’s still to one’s disadvantage to generalize this using Giraldi’s phrasing because it misses the precision. It reminds me of saying that “Americans supported the Korean War” or some other generalization, when in reality we would just be talking about a majority.

    Comment by Hal — September 29, 2017 @ 7:49 pm

  25. I like that Giraldi is taking an antiwar stance and that he is talking about the Israeli Lobby’s involvement, so it’s sad when he doesn’t use precision and instead makes a generalization in ethnic terms.

    Comment by Hal — September 29, 2017 @ 7:51 pm

  26. […] about a year ago I discussed The Unz Review in the context of a controversy over Valerie Plame tweeting a link to an article […]

    Pingback by Making a List – Leftwing Writers Whose Work Appears on the Unz Review Website – Louis Proyect – 4 Sept 2018 | xenagoguevicene — September 20, 2018 @ 8:53 pm

  27. The attacks on nation-states by global finance capital are ultimately class warfare. Defenders of sovereign nation-states with self-determination are in the same vein as the anti-colonial movements of the mid Twentieth Century. The revolutions in Cuba and Vietnam were not somehow rendered reactionary by their nationalist focus. All the misty Marxist rhetoric of “international solidarity” promotes a chimera that can’t cover the fact that internationalism has become a tool for attacking the working class and defending the nation-state is the first line of defending the working class. Eroding the nation-state means eroding the moral connections that make a national community. Ruling elites in the West lack those moral connections, and an effective response must include exposing their treachery towards the nation-states they rule.

    Comment by Thirdeye — December 11, 2018 @ 4:34 am

  28. Eroding the nation-state means eroding the moral connections that make a national community.

    Defending the nation-state? Is that what Putin is doing in Syria?

    Comment by louisproyect — December 11, 2018 @ 12:44 pm

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